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Opinion: The death penalty should be legal

The+death+penalty+has+been+a+topic+for+many+years+among+government+leaders+and+citizens+regarding+whether+or+not+to+rid+of+it.+%E2%80%9CThe+death+penalty%2C+although+scary+in+the+eyes+of+some+citizens%2C+is+beneficial+to+every+citizen+and+increases+the+safety+of+our+country+every+day%2C%E2%80%9D+Camacho+writes.+
The death penalty has been a topic for many years among government leaders and citizens regarding whether or not to rid of it. “The death penalty, although scary in the eyes of some citizens, is beneficial to every citizen and increases the safety of our country every day,” Camacho writes.

The death penalty has been a topic for many years among government leaders and citizens regarding whether or not to rid of it. “The death penalty, although scary in the eyes of some citizens, is beneficial to every citizen and increases the safety of our country every day,” Camacho writes.

Credit: Chris Potter (public domain) via Wiki Commons.

Credit: Chris Potter (public domain) via Wiki Commons.

The death penalty has been a topic for many years among government leaders and citizens regarding whether or not to rid of it. “The death penalty, although scary in the eyes of some citizens, is beneficial to every citizen and increases the safety of our country every day,” Camacho writes.

Audrey Camacho

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Since 1608, capital punishment has been heavily debated. Capital punishment is when a person is sentenced to death by the state for a particular crime. Ever since the death penalty was created, there has been controversy over whether or not it should be continued. For many years, our government as well as average citizens have questioned if the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits the government from cruel and unusual punishment. The death penalty should be continued to increase the prevention of crimes and reduce the billions of tax dollars spent towards prisons.

Many people argue that that the death penalty completely goes against our Eighth Amendment rights: with its inhuman ways of execution and its possible classification as “cruel” and “unusual” punishments. However without the death penalty, lots of citizen’s tax dollars would go to waste clothing and feeding inmates in jail. Over the years, more and more tax dollars are being put towards jails than other resources that can help a community.

Believe it or not, America’s prisons are costing taxpayers billions of dollars. According to the well known website, Money and Career Cheat Sheet, the Versa Institute of Justice recorded a whopping 39 billion dollars being spent on prisons. These tax dollars go towards health care, food and clothing for inmates; a fraction of the money also goes towards correction officers.

The death penalty should be continued to also prevent an increase in crimes. Imagine living in a world in which the only form of punishment was being locked in a cage like an animal. Criminals would learn nothing from their mistakes and when released, who knows what these unchanged people would do. Not everyone changes in prison, some just become worse. Time Magazine reported an estimated amount of 2,000,000 citizens of the US who have fallen victim to some form of crime from assault to murder. Without the death penalty, criminals would become careless and fearless, and they would commit horrendous crimes. There is a need for the death penalty to exist.

In conclusion, there are still multiple opinions regarding the death penalty. However, the most beneficial one would be to continue the process of distributing the death penalty as a punishment. When you put someone else in harms way, and ruin their lives, you deserve to be treated with the same respect. The death penalty, although scary in the eyes of some citizens, is beneficial to every citizen and increases the safety of our country every day.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Opinion: The death penalty should be legal”

  1. David Schmirer on April 26th, 2017 8:21 PM

    Hello, your friendly social studies department teacher here. I just wanted to point out that official statistics, as gathered by the Department of Justice and FBI, show clearly that the murder rate is higher in states that have the death penalty than those that do not. (http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/images/DPvNonDPStates.jpg). Those stats cover 1990-2010, clearly demonstrating that the death penalty is not a deterrent to committing murder. In fact, the murder rate in the United States is significantly higher then other western-style democracies in Europe, many of which have condemned the use of the death penalty as barbaric. Finally, despite it seeming counter-intuitive, it actually costs more on average to sentence a person to death than to imprison them to life (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/05/01/considering-the-death-penalty-your-tax-dollars-at-work/#3fc51976664b). None of the above even touches on the fact that the death penalty is imposed on poor minorities in disproportionate numbers, as black people make up 12% of the US population, but 35% of those executed. (https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-death-row-inmates-executed-1976).

    [Reply]

  2. Anonymous on April 28th, 2017 11:26 AM

    Is money worth more than human lives?
    Also, being jailed in prison isn’t exactly a light sentence nor enjoyable.

    [Reply]

  3. Abby McCarthy on April 28th, 2017 12:18 PM

    I feel very uncomfortable reading the argument that, “Not everyone changes in prison, some just become worse.” This statement shows a lack of empathy for people who have been incarcerated.

    Growing up in Wayland, we are extremely privileged, and I think it’s important to understand the perspective of people who are incarcerated. Many of them have lived through unimaginable challenges involving poverty, abuse, and discrimination both in and out of prison.

    If you would like to learn more about what it’s like to be incarcerated as an LGBTQ person, I recommend signing up for a pen pal with the organization Black and Pink, which works to connect incarcerated people with allies outside of the prison system: http://www.blackandpink.org/

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    I feel very uncomfortable reading the sentence, “If you would like to learn more about what it’s like to be incarcerated as an LGBTQ person, I recommend signing up for a pen pal with the organization Black and Pink, which works to connect incarcerated people with allies outside of the prison system: http://www.blackandpink.org/.” This statement shows a complete lack of attention to the content of the article since the writer never mentioned anything of the sort. I would recommend that you practice your reading comprehension.

    [Reply]

  4. Questions for the Author on May 24th, 2017 10:09 AM

    A few questions for the author:

    (1) are you troubled at all by the unequal application of the death penalty to people of different races? Similarly, its overapplication to people suffering from mental illnesses or diminished mental capacity, or especially to those of low income?

    (2) do you have any concerns about people who might later be exonerated after their execution?

    (3) have you reviewed the list of countries that have (and those that do not have) a death penalty?

    (4) if you are concerned about prison costs, what do you think about our current AGs thoughts regarding re-invigorating our war on drugs? Are you at all concerned about our incarceration rate relative to other countries? Are you aware of the distribution of prison costs between the various types of crimes? Death row, the cost of appeals and the cost of the execution itself is extremely expensive – have you compared that to the regular costs of life imprisonment?

    (5) Do you have any data that supports the use of the death penalty as a deterrent to future crime? (Note: I didn’t think so.)

    I genuinely look forward to the author’s responses.

    [Reply]

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Opinion: The death penalty should be legal